On Sunday afternoon I was very pleased to see the final performance of Amore Opera's Rigoletto--Amore's final performance of the season. In these pages I have often sung the praises of performance organizations like Amore, whose purpose is to produce enjoyable opera using young professionals. I hope how much I enjoyed Amore's L'Elisir d'Amore and Poliuto in March came through in my posts about those operas.
Allow me to talk first about the singers I liked the most. Gennadiy Vyotskiy as Sparafucile and Kathleen Shelton as his sultry sister/partner in crime Maddalena were my two favorites. Mr. Vyotskiy had the wonderful masculine bearing of a hired assassin while singing the low and demanding role of Sparafucile quite beautifully. I hope he achieves great things with that powerful voice of his. Ms. Shelton satisfied in the same way as Maddalena. She was sexy and seductive, and a pleasure to hear.
The orchestra was pretty ragged. In fact, my biggest complaint is that the whole show seemed ragged. Perhaps it is because it was a matinee, which I know some singers simply loathe, or perhaps it was because it was the last performance of the run, perhaps it was mistakes in casting, but I can't really say every performer I witnessed was completely committed to his or her character, or that all were suited their roles by vocal quality or maturity. Without slamming anyone individually, which I don't do with singers at this level, I'll just say I heard singing that sounded tired, or not technically ready for the role, or as if the individual had one voice for high notes and another for everything else. None of them are bad singers, and some are quite effective actors, so I hope I'll hear them again under better circumstances. Direction, however, was difficult to detect, and there was a lot of stand-and-sing positioning. Costumes were a hodge-podge of eras and styles. Choreography was cute, however, and it was a pleasure having the small group of dancers on stage.
While I don't regret going to see this performance, it does pain me very much to report on it in this way